Cultural Learnings of America for
Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Directed by: Larry Charles
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian
Released by: 20th Century
Short: Satire at its finest is at the heart
of "Borat," but prepare to be offended
by something before the credits even roll.
Filthy, Offensive and Hilarious
'Happy Times' at the Satire
of the Year
you are sensitive at all—and we mean at all, about
anything— be warned. “Borat: Cultural Learnings
of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”
is absolutely, positively, indubitably not for you. But
if you love bold satire with a completely twisted outlook,
then you should be first in line to see this incredibly
Baron Cohen, the British comedian best known for his Ali
G persona, plays Borat in this pseudo documentary that
follows the Kazakhstani news reporter on a fact-finding
mission to the United States. Joined only by his trusty
(and very fat) producer Azamat Bagatov (Ken Davitian,
whose performance is just as inspired as Cohen's), Borat
first shows his audience what life is like in Kazakhstan.
It only takes ten minutes to insult women, Jews and everyone
that actually lives in Kazakhstan before the two head
off for New
York City where the comedy really goes into high gear.
and Davitian (and their skeleton film crew, shooting real
people and places all along the way) jump wholeheartedly
into the American experience, never breaking character
for a moment as they literally wreak havoc from New
York to California.
From the moments where Borat tries to kiss male New Yorkers
hello (not good) to the most outrageous scene in a Dallas hotel where the two guerilla filmmakers have a buck-naked
fight that rages out of their room and into the hallway,
elevator and lobby, hilarity mixes with disbelief and
the pair make their way across the United States, their
encounters with real Americans will make you cringe, sigh
and burst out laughing—and sometimes be stricken
by just how narrow-minded, racist, sexist and downright
dumb our compatriots can be. Borat's portrayal of Kazakhstan
doesn't seem all that different from parts of America.
it doesn't seem possible, as the movie unspools, it just
gets funnier and funnier. It culminates when Borat finds
Pamela Anderson, his dream girl, signing autographs in
County Virgin Megastore, and tries to marry her on
the spot. Just those moments alone are priceless, and
if Anderson actually knew that she was part of a movie
comedy—as most of the unwitting Americans along
the way did not—then she's a better actress than
we've ever given her credit for being.
less you know about “Borat” going in the better—the
discovery of the absurdity is part of the rollicking ride.
So avoid seeing any trailers, interviews or commercials
that will give away too much, and just go and see it.
You'll walk out shaking your head and grinning, and quoting
Borat's catchphrase, “Happy times!”